Guestblog written by Jen Star, Next Day PC
Whether you work with computers professionally or are an interested hobbyist, learning how to code can have a number of great benefits.
At the same time, many people are put off because they assume it is difficult or they simply don’t know where to begin.
Well the good news is it is definitely not as hard as you may assume! We asked a number of successful, self-taught coders what tips they would pass on if they were starting to learn code today – so now you know where to start – with this article.
1) Practical Problems
Many people will suggest you start out with a thorough grounding in the theory of code. Whilst that is of course true – without the basic tools you can’t do anything – theory can also be… kind of boring.
So ask yourself what it is that you want to code – what problem do you think you can solve, what service are you missing, what game do you want to play. Once you know that, gear your studies toward that one thing and it will much more interesting.
A great book to read – probably before you do any studying of code at all – is Code Simplicity. Why is it so good? Well, it barely contains any code at all. Instead, it is written to discuss and celebrate the art of programming and coding. It also discusses some very simple concepts relating to coding, making it perfect or the absolute beginner to get a solid grounding in the craft.
4) Have Fun
There are various coding courses out there designed for kids. Don’t sneer at that, they are pretty much giving out the exact same information as beginner courses designed for mature students.
The main difference is that they are fun! Code.org has a number of excellent coding courses that are based around things like Star Wars. So head on over there, learn the basics and have fun doing it.
5) Stay At The Cutting Edge
As we discussed above, the world of coding moves pretty fast. It’s important therefore that you keep at the tip of cutting edge technology and discussions of the theories and practices of coding and programming.
You can sign up to expensive monthly journals, but it’s cheaper – and probably more fun – to find some blogs and podcasts of programmers and coders you like and trust and subscribe to them. They’re free, they’re sometimes fun and they will definitely keep you up to date.
6) Construct a Portfolio as You Work
Finally, as you gain more experience and begin to build code and programmes, start to save your work in a portfolio (or set up a account at GitHub).
Firstly, it will motivate you to look back over your earlier work as you progress, and get a real sense of just how far you’ve come.
Secondly, if you’re considering going professional with this then it will be a big help to have a portfolio of your work to show prospective employers – so start building it early.
Written by Jen Starr. Jen Starr is part of the community team at Next Day PC. Jen enjoys staying on top of the latest tech trends and sharing how new tech can positively impact people’s lives.